Satan is a Staunch Believer

Satan is a believer. He shares our most cherished beliefs. He believes in the existence of God, in fact, they are on first-name basis. He doesn’t have to believe Genesis’ Creation story because he was there, watching it all happen. He witnessed the prophets of old writing the books of the Bible under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. He even has selfies that he posed for at Calvary. I’m told, one shouldn’t even mention the Second Coming in his hearing because he flies into fits of anger, screaming, “Eish! Time is running out!”

Satan could easily pass any examination on any tenet of doctrinal theology. He could accurately retell the events outlined in the Bible. There are details He can furnish that we don’t know: Joseph’s coat size, Moses’ favourite manna recipes, David’s dance moves and Bathsheba’s favourite brand of soap. Satan’s knowledge of the Bible is much more expansive than ours.

Don’t get me started on prayer! He has had face-to-face discussions with God. He shows more honesty with God than most believers do in their prayers. There is no question about his feelings and opinions on God. We, on the other hand, don’t tell God when we aren’t happy with Him because we only pray to get out of trouble and for our enemies to get in trouble. Just how dumb do we think God is anyway?

If Satan accurately knows doctrinal theology, religiously reads the Bible and is more open to God about his feelings than a lot of believers, why then is he an enemy? Satan has no trust in God and so doctrine (a fancy synonym for teaching), Bible study and prayer produce no real positive effects in his life (James 2:19). There’s absolutely no point in having the right beliefs (as important as that is) if they are held outside a relationship with God. How sweet it would be if we studied, taught and prayed within the context of relationship! God’s love would fill our hearts and overflow into those we encountered.

photo credit: pray via photopin (license)

Blue Ghosts and Green Goblins

Blue lights flash in the dark, my time isn’t mine anymore; my thoughts ruthlessly interrupted – I’m being haunted. Call the exorcist! I’m tired of the blue ghosts dodging my footsteps, their incessant cries pulling me from the real world to their own eerie illusion of flashing images and unfriendly friends stamping their approval on brief exhibitions of morbid voyeurism.
I’m weary and leery of the green goblin’s wailing. He whistles in my ear, disrupting my slumber. Day turns into night but he doesn’t knock off, he needs no holiday. He and his blue cousins lap at my eyes and ears, feasting on my attention. My attention span is getting shorter although I stare at them all day. I read all they show me but I remember so little. Their catchphrases echo in my thoughts: they’ve taken over my mind, I must reclaim it. Continue reading “Blue Ghosts and Green Goblins”

Of Really Stupid Prayers and Windy Lullabies

Don’t tell me about how He calmed the storm or how He walked on water. He is God, that was easy enough. Tell me about how He snored in a boat tossed by the foaming billows. For too long I’ve gazed at the winds and the waves hoping to find their ears so that I too may still them when they toss my boat to and fro. I’ve wasted too much time inspecting Jesus’ larynx, hoping to find which frequencies He uses to calm angry waves and howling wind. Too much energy have I expended studying his feet so that I too might dance on water.

I’ve prayed stupid prayers:

“God make me happy,”

“God take away my country’s troubles,”

“God give me a perfect wife.” Continue reading “Of Really Stupid Prayers and Windy Lullabies”

You’re a Man so Start Crying

When did it become wrong for men to cry? Did their cheeks suddenly become too fragile to bear the weight of cascading tears? Perhaps we ought to remove the offending tear glands, numb our nerves and discard our hopes. It would appear, each tear that escapes our eyes dissolves our muscles and eats away at our faith for who hasn’t heard a weeping man being encouraged to be strong and mourning Christian being quizzed about his faith’s whereabouts? Rubbish! Continue reading “You’re a Man so Start Crying”

It’s Sad Being God Sometimes

How sad it must be to be God at times. To have the world you created perfect marred by the very people you bequeathed it to must fill the heart with pain. Yet the same people inflict even more pain on God by blaming Him for the results of human folly.

When faced with pain, we scream and rail against Him as if He is beyond pain. Do we ever stop to think what it’s like for God to have intimate knowledge of all the pain in the world? Does it ever occur to us to offer words of comfort to God? I didn’t think so. We are too busy trying to pin the blame on somebody and since God is closest to us when the pain hits, it’s just too easy to blame Him. No wonder we never offer Him any words of comfort. We never say,

“Hey God, you spent a whole day viewing suffering humanity. You comforted people who were too busy complaining to take a moment to comfort you too, much less, thank you. That’s got to be rough. I’m sorry.” Continue reading “It’s Sad Being God Sometimes”

Will God make up His Mind?

Why does God seem to vacillate between justice and mercy? Why can’t He just make up His mind? It seems he sits on a pendulum and swings arbitrarily between the two “extremes”. Some say He was pure justice in Old Testament times and then changed to pure mercy in the New. Others paint a picture of a stern unyielding God with Jesus as the only one standing between us and His undiluted wrath. I won’t even mention the doting grandfather some have made God out to be. How on earth are we ever to reconcile justice and mercy? Can they be reconciled anyway? Continue reading “Will God make up His Mind?”

There is a Love

There is a love that lingers long after the fragrance from roses is faded

This love echoes in the heart when ears no longer with love songs are serenaded,

It feeds the soul when fancy dinners are expunged with the candle’s light

When the bard’s full moon is gone it still shines with determined might,

It never rests till the garden with seed is sown Continue reading “There is a Love”

My Picture of Frustration

If I could paint a picture of frustration, I’d paint a picture of me at the barbershop. The man I go to for haircuts is agonizingly slow. Picture this – yesterday I had to wait for two hours before he sculpted my head. I’m sure you’re guessing there was a long queue of clients eager to have him go all Delilah on their locks but you’re wrong, the number of clients ahead of me was just two. No, there’s nothing wrong with your eyes, you read right… 2 clients in two hours. When I finally sat under his buzzing clippers (for an hour), I looked in the mirror and seeing people waiting behind me, I thought to myself,

“Yes, I hope you’re not in a hurry because you’re about to pose for my mental painting of frustration.” Anybody, who’s done business in Zimbabwe knows that we absorb a lot of bad service before we complain (if at all), and even if we do, we rarely direct our complaints at the source of the bad service. For example, I’ve never complained to my barber about the infinite lengths of time he takes to cut hair yet I’m ranting here. I’m not the only one; I remember speaking to an acquaintance about the deplorable supply of electricity (or lack thereof) in our country only to be stunned by his reply, Continue reading “My Picture of Frustration”

Metaphorically Speaking

Metaphors paint pictures of the intangible. They pick up concepts from the realm of abstraction, wrap them in familiar clothes and introduce them to minds that couldn’t welcome them otherwise. Without metaphors, all that is indefinable could never be shared and even in crowds we would stand alone. Thus, Paul eager to share the eternal gospel turned to metaphor. Just as the athlete wins the race by disciplining his body in training, the Christian wins the battle against self by strict discipline. All metaphors have limits however, and so elsewhere Paul depicts the Christian as hiding behind armour as he marches to victory.

Indeed, metaphors make unfamiliar concepts palatable they befuddle the mind when dragged further than they can walk. Paul’s metaphors and arguments have been contorted by people even while he was alive (2 Peter 3:15, 16). We still do this today. In our case, I suppose the problem largely emanates from the fact that although medieval scholars demarcated the Bible into chapters and verses to make reference easier, we have turned the verse into a cage in which we train God to say whatever pleases us. Continue reading “Metaphorically Speaking”